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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Bad habits

I'm sure what the value of this report is except maybe as a call for action to agencies that probably already know their own missions in addressing some of the problems identified:

A new report on the biggest threats to the health and well-being of Indiana's adolescents says the state's public health system needs to do a better job helping young people avoid unhealthy habits that can last a lifetime.

[. . .]

The report calls for the various entities whose work affects the health and well-being of youths to work to reduce auto fatalities, binge drinking, smoking, obesity, suicide, sexually transmitted diseases and dating violence.

It also calls for increasing the number of young people with health insurance, boosting the quality of their health care and expanding access to mental health services.

Monroe said she urges "anyone concerned about the health and welfare of our youth to take the time to review this health plan and find a part you can act upon."

I hate to break it to anybody, but "youth" are not going to not sit down and listen patiently to "the system" lecture them about changing their bad habits. And it sounds like those who put out this report sort of understand that. Agencies that already work with youth are supposed to identify which part they can work on and -- what? -- do what they already do but more of it?

This reminds like some of those retreats they used to send those of us on public boards to at Pokagon. Problems were identified by writing them on cards, which were then stuck on a board. Then everybody was supposed to go pick out a card, and the card you picked was the problem you were responsible for working on. We'd all go home with a feeling of great accomplishment, but any problems that did get solved came about because somebody thought of something during the normal course of business, not because somebody from the retreat was mulling it over constantly.